The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has called on Island Nations around the world to come together for global action to protect their communities from marine damage.
Prime Minister O’Neill made the comments in Suva, Fiji, where he attended the Pacific Regional Preparatory High-Level Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Oceans on March 16-17.
PM O’Neill said island nations have valid marine resources concerns that must be taken up by the global community.
“Island Nations might be small in terms of geography, but we are many in number, and together we can bring about global change on issues harming our communities,” the Prime Minister said.
“We are not only the Pacific Island nations, but island nations and communities from oceans and seas right around the world.
“Pollution, illegal fishing and climate change destroys ecosystems in island nation maritime areas.
“We did not cause these problems, but these problems cause damage to our communities today and into the future.
“This meeting in Suva is all about building consensus and establishing a way forward to bring the global community with us to prevent our marine resources being destroyed.”
Following earlier meetings with United Nations representatives and partner Pacific Island nations, Leaders attended the High-Level meeting today to finalise the actions to move forward ahead of the UN Conference of Oceans in June.
“All countries, including our own, have a role to play in managing our own waterways, as well as the pollutants that flow to the world’s oceans.
“Papua New Guinea’s Vision 2050 is a National Development Roadmap further underscores environmental protection as an important pillar.
“Selected areas are being considered as Marine Protected Areas so that nature can replenish marine resources.
“Papua New Guinea already has in place the Strategy for Responsible Sustainable Development, STARs, which addresses the integration of the global 2030 Agenda.
“This includes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 incorporated into the national planning process.
“SDG 14 is intended to conserve and manage the sustainability of the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources so as to ensure sustainable development.
“This is in its early phase and will ensure marine life sustainability and bio-diversity for decades to come.
“But ultimately, there is only so much individual countries can do. We have to come together as a global community to have workable solutions for our future generations.
“For Pacific nations, we have to ensure that we lay the groundwork now to ensure real and tangible outcomes from the UN Conference of Oceans later this year.”
1. Heads of Pacific Small Islands Developing States
2. Prime Minister O’Neill and Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama discuss regional oceans issues.